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Google Has Confirmed Existence of Next-Gen Android OS

Posted by Jason on November 12, 2018 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Recently, Samsung put up a teaser for its new foldable phone called the Galaxy X. However, it is interesting to note that Google has confirmed that its next generation of Android OS called Android Q will provide native support to both foldable phones and dual-screen phones. This makes sense because a number of Android phone manufacturers are planning to produce such phones in the near future, meaning that Google's choice in this regard is very sensible in nature. Still, this is the first time that Google has spoken in such an open manner about its next generation of Android OS, thus making it a notable event.

Netflix cancels the terrible Iron Fist

Posted by Jason on October 17, 2018 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Iron Fist has received the dubious distinction of being the first Marvel series to be cancelled by Netflix. It seems that even though the second season was better-received than the first, it wasn't enough to save the series. The exact reason that Iron Fist struggled so much is unclear, but interested individuals have proposed a number of reasons.

For example, some people complained about Iron Fist's relatively tame presentation in preference to a whole-hearted embrace of the source material's more colorful parts. Meanwhile, other people found fault with the lead Finn Jones, particularly since there was a significant number of people who felt that Iron Fist should have been changed up so that its protagonist was an Asian-American seeking to reconnect with his parents by visiting their homeland. Something that would have resonated with a lot of second-generation Asian-Americans.

Short gadget news

Posted by Jason on September 23, 2018 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

New Gadgets Are Being Released On a Constant Basis

New gadgets continue to be released on a constant basis. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that there are some rather interesting pieces of news that have come up in September of 2018 for those who are fascinated by such things.

What Are Some Interesting Pieces of News that Have Come Up?

For starters, Amazon has announced the AmazonBasics Microwave, which is an excellent example of the Internet of Things that is coming into existence. In short, the microwave is a smart appliance that comes with a number of useful features. For example, its user can use their voice to command the microwave to cook several kinds of preset food. Furthermore, the microwave comes with a wi-fi connection, which enables it to reorder more popcorn from Amazon's Dash service whenever the supply runs short. For those who are curious, the AmazonBasics Microwave won't be released until November 14 but can be preordered in the meantime.

On a separate note, GoPro has made a camera that is $400 more expensive than its predecessor but could very well prove to be worth that price upgrade. This is because the new GoPro Hero 7 comes with a much-improved stabilization system that can turn even the shakiest footage into something much more watchable, thus making it an excellent choice for people who like to film scenes with plenty of action. It is unclear how much of the stabilization system comes from enhanced sensors and how much of the stabilization system comes from enhanced software, but whatever the case, the results speak for themselves.

For something less commercial in nature, researchers at Queen's University in Canada have come up with something rather curious. Smartphones have been becoming flatter and flatter for some time, but some parties have been working on other smartphone concepts as well, with an excellent example being the foldable smartphone that has been making a fair amount of progress in recent times. What is amusing is that the researchers at Queen's University have come up with a cylindrical touchscreen device called the MagicScroll for the simple reason that is what it happens to resemble. Currently, the MagicScroll isn't particularly impressive. As a result, there is no real reason to believe that it will be making a transition to the consumer market anytime soon. However, it is an interesting proof of concept, so if further refinements continue to be made, it will be interesting to see what could come from it.

Did Michael deserve to be stuck in Lucifer's cage?

Posted by Jason on September 7, 2018 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Whatever Happened to Michael on Supernatural?

Currently, Supernatural is focused on an alternate universe version of Michael the Archangel, who has been set loose on the main universe with Dean Winchester as his vessel. As a result, it is natural for Supernatural fans to wonder about the fate of main universe version of Michael, who has been stuck in Lucifer's Cage since the end of Season 5. Something that in turn, leads one to wonder whether Michael deserves his current fate in the series or not.

Does Michael Deserve to Be Stuck in Lucifer's Cage?

Unfortunately, justice is one of the most complicated philosophical issues that can be found out there, so much so that people are still considering the matter even though some of the finest minds to have ever existed have labored on the same task since the start of the human experience. As a result, it is perfectly possible for different people to come up with different positions on the matter even if they have access to the same information about all of the relevant parties as well as all of the relevant facts.

For starters, it is important to note what it means when one says that Michael is stuck in Lucifer's Cage. Unfortunately, we don't get a lot of exact details about the conditions of imprisonment in said location, but we have more than enough information to conclude that it is rather unpleasant. For example, Lucifer's greatest fear is said to be being returned to his prison. Likewise, Michael is said to have gone mad as a result of his imprisonment. On top of this, it should be mentioned that solitary confinement is supposed to have such a horrendous impact on people that it can start causing permanent damage in as little as 15 days, which explains why such a wide range of respected bodies consider it to be outright torture. Granted, Michael isn't actually in solitary confinement because of the presence of Adam Milligan, but one step less terrible than solitary confinement isn't much of a step up. Summed up, it seems reasonable to say that Michael being stuck in Lucifer's Cage is effectively a sentence of eternal torture.

As a result, the issue of whether Michael deserves to be stuck in Lucifer's Cage or not depends on whether a sentence of eternal torture can ever be considered just. There are people who would say, "Yes," but in most cases, the probable conclusion is, "No." Said sentiment would be true even in pre-modern societies that ran on lex talionis, which might be more familiar to people as "an eye for an eye." Certainly, such societies were very brutal from our perspective, but fundamentally, lex talionis meant that justice consisted of proportionate rather than disproportionate retribution, thus limiting what could be done to wrongdoers. Granted, Michael committed a lot of horrendous acts and would have gone on to commit even more when he was pushing for the Apocalypse to happen, but what he did was nonetheless finite in nature, which in turn, means that even under lex talionis, his sentence should be finite in nature as well.

Of course, we are not our pre-modern predecessors. For a lot of us, retribution remains a component of what we believe to be justice. However, we put a much greater emphasis on rehabilitation, so much so that some of us would even say that there is no room for retribution whatsoever. As a result, chances are good that an even greater proportion of us would say that Michael does not deserve a sentence of eternal torture no matter how bad he was.

Further Considerations

With that said, there are various counter-arguments that can be made against what has been said. For example, the chain of reasoning rests on the position that Michael being stuck in Lucifer's Cage is in effect a sentence of eternal torture, meaning that it is possible to undermine the chain by attacking the idea that the conditions of his imprisonment are indeed torturous. Likewise, it is important to point out that one of the reasons that society imprisons people is to stop them from committing further crimes. In that light, Lucifer's Cage might be justifiable because there are very few ways that an Archangel can be imprisoned in so secure a manner, meaning that while the conditions of Michael's imprisonment are torturous, his suffering is not enough to overrule the horrors that he would unleash upon the world.

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

Posted by Jason on August 31, 2018 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)

We Have A Release Date For Ace Combat 7

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has been in development for some time. However, Bandai Namco has now revealed the release dates for its combat flight game, which are January 18 of 2019 for the PS4 and the XBox One as well as February 1 of 2019 for Microsoft Windows. Said reveal came with footage for one of the missions, which provided interested individuals with a good idea of what to expect.

What Else Did We Learn?

Storywise, Ace Combat 7 is focused on the conflict between two countries called the Osean Federation and the Kingdom of Erusea. Over the course of the story, the player-character winds up in an Osean penal unit because of a particularly heinous crime, which is why their plane-tail is painted with three "sin lines." As such, the player-character and their fellow pilots in the penal unit are not treated well by their Osean masters, which was emphasized by plenty of insults in the mission that was showcased.

Gameplay-wise, Ace Combat 7 seemed to have retained the core characteristics of its predecessors while seeing improvements throughout. Moreover, it seems to have retained the series's characteristic flair, as shown by some of the footage in which the player was able to fly through a low-to-the-ground tunnel to get at hard-to-reach targets.

With that said, the story details that have been released so far might be even more interesting. For instance, the poor treatment of the player-character and their fellow pilots have prompted some to wonder whether there will be a chance to defect to Erusea at some point in the game or not, which isn't impossible because previous Ace Combat games have had branching missions. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the latest story trailer for Ace Combat 7 has put a fair amount of focus on an aged pilot named Mihaly A. Shilage, who claims to have bested all of the pilots like the player-character that have come along in the past. This has prompted furious discussion about who Mihaly might be, not least because a lot of fans suspect that he might be one of the previous player-characters. Whatever the case, if Mihaly can live up to the hype that has been built-up, the eventual showdown has the potential to be truly epic in nature.

Will Rage 2 be better than Doom Eternal?

Posted by Jason on August 27, 2018 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

What Is Rage 2?

It has been some time since Rage was released in 2010. As a result, people might be surprised to learn that a Rage 2 is being made by id Software and Avalanche Studios, which is expected to be released in either Q1 or Q2 of 2019. Story-wise, Rage 2 will let interested individuals explore the post-apocalyptic open world created by an asteroid impact, which is populated by mutants and other enemies.

Design-wise, it has been stated by the people behind Rage 2 that it is intended to be a power fantasy. As a result, the player is supposed to feel powerful from the start before presumably becoming more so over the course of their experience. Something that will be helped by the technological advances made since the release of Rage, which was hindered in this regard because of the technological limitations of its time.

What Is Doom Eternal?

Meanwhile, id Software is making Doom Eternal as well, which is the follow-up to the 2016 Doom reboot. For those who are unfamiliar with the long-running Doom franchise, players will be taking control of the Doom Slayer, who will be providing them with plenty of first-person shooter action as he fights his way through the legions of hell. Once again, Doom Eternal will be focused on what is being called "push forward" combat, which stresses a very aggressive play-style as opposed to the cautious, cover-intensive play-style that is popular in some shooters.

In fact, a fair amount of the new content will be supporting this particular design goal. For example, it has been said that the Super Shotgun will now have a Meat Hook, which will enable players to send the Doom Slayer hurling towards enemies so as to close-in faster than otherwise possible. Likewise, there has been mention of new movement mechanics such as dash moves, which should enable new strategies to deal with new demons that include but are not limited to Doom Hunters, Pain Elementals, and Arachnotron.

How Will Rage 2 Compare To Doom Eternal?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Rage 2 has shown some signs that it will play in a similar manner to Doom, which is not a bad thing because the 2016 Doom reboot was a huge success. However, there are still some significant differences between the two, with an excellent example being how Rage 2 is situated in an open world environment. As a result, while Rage 2 and Doom Eternal promise to share some elements, interested individuals might want to gravitate towards one or the other based on their personal preferences when it comes to their differences. For example, someone who likes the exploration of open world games should choose Rage 2. In contrast, someone who likes the focused aggressiveness of "push forward" combat should focus on Doom Eternal. Of course, since more information about both games is bound to come out in the time still to come, interested individuals will want to wait on that as well before making up their minds.

Underworld Ascendant announced for Switch

Posted by Jason on August 21, 2018 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

In the early 90s, there was one particular fantasy role playing game that stuck out to the gamers of old.

That game was Ultima Underworld: The Sygian Abyss. Developed by Blue Sky Productions, with publisher Origin Systems, Ultima Underworld has largely been recognized as the first role playing game that contained a third dimensional environment.

This of course included innovative camera movements, "emergent gameplay" and a non-linear playstyle. Ultima Underworld is largely recognized as being of substantial influence to the likes of Bethesda Softworks and Valve Corporation game development companies.

Ultima Underworld was available for PC gamers, and along with the 3D immersion came an open world as well. To this day, Ultima Underworld is considered one of the best role-playing games ever created. Now it seems Ultima Underworld is coming back from the gaming hall of fame, to bring a new generation of gamers the magic of the Ultima series.

You've heard that correctly, Ultima Underworld has a new game in the series, and that game is coming to the Nintendo Switch console.

In 2015, using the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, OtherSide Entertainment sought to raise enough money to bring back the legendary legacy of the Ultima series.

Well, that funding was a huge success, over 13,000 backers raised over $800,000 to being the process of making Underworld Ascendant. From the Kickstarter campaign page:

"For two decades this legend has been hidden away in the deepest vaults of its publisher. The game's original creators, who founded LookingGlass and also designed the classics System Shock and Thief, have at long-last unchained the franchise.

Joining the original creators are leading developers who have played key roles on modern greats, such as Dishonored, Last of Us and BioShock Infinite. Together the team is bringing to life the next generation of this landmark franchise, Underworld Ascendant!"

While the starting plan was simply to raise funds, with the game's console availability unknown, we now know the game will be on the Nintendo Switch sometime next year.

From publisher 505 games comes the description for Ascendant:

"In Underworld Ascendant, players assume the role of 'The Ascendant,' summoned to the Stygian Abyss by a mysterious figure – Cabirus. There, they learn that Typhon, a threat to both their worlds, can only be stopped by the player. To defeat Typhon, players must uncover secrets of what happened to the inhabitants of the Abyss, gain favor with their descendants and share their knowledge and strength with them to defeat Typhon."

Building off of the focus of Ultima Underworld, Ascendant's gameplay is heavily determined by the gamer's choices. Different gaming styles, discoveries and experiments ultimately lead to different stories and environments. The game is going to react dynamically to the player's input. With a large number of items, skills and abilities to choose from, how each player completes the game is up to them. Creative playstyles are encouraged, and Underworld Ascendant opens the door for unique styles and imaginative players. This of course means the replay value is extremely high for Ascendant, and we believe the Nintendo Switch is the perfect console for such a game.

Technology news for August 2018

Posted by Jason on August 18, 2018 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

DeepMind's Artificial Intelligence Is Getting Good at Spotting Eye Disease

It would appear that artificial intelligence is making larger and larger strides in the useful and practical applications of the technology, as DeepMind's own A.I. is now able to spot eye disease at a medical grade level.

Using anonymous data (in the form of retinal scans) from nearly 15,000 patients, the A.I. slowly learned the 10 key features that make up eye disease.

Using an OCT scan, 3D images of the back of each patient's eyes were scanned, and DeepMind may be used in the future to expedite the care of patients with more threating eye conditions.

Nvidia Stock Plummets

Graphics card Nvidia had a rough day Thursday as shares fell 5 percent. Nvidia has stated that the demand for their graphics card just isn't what is was since demand to mine cryptocurrency has dropped off.

Initially Nvidia projected to make around $100 million in sales from their graphics cards, which many used to mine cryptocurrency. However, as the cryptocurrency market began to crash, so did the demand for Nvidia products, the actual reported revenue as of Thursday was only $18 million.

For PC users this is great news, as the demand for graphics cards and processers drop, so will the prices. Cryptocurrency miners infamously drove up the price of graphics cards for the last few years.

Will you finally be upgrading your computer's graphics?

Location Tracking Switched Off? Won't Make a Difference to Google

Android users, beware. It turns out that Google is still recording your location, even when you turn off location tracking.

As was reported by the Associated Press, many Google enabled services, on both Android devices and Apple products, will still store your location data. This report was later confirmed by Computer Science researchers at Princeton University.

This comes in the wake of Facebook, who earlier this year was ousted as having sold many of its own users' data to third parties.

It only makes sense that similar happenings would be occurring on smart phone devices, and tech giant Google is no different it seems.

Storing location data of course carries privacy risks, so be wary of trusting which Google apps you download.

Video Games May One Day Be An Olympic Sport

The 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia this year will now be featuring eSports, as confirmed by the Asian Esports Federation.

On the line up are League of Legends (no surprise), Hearthstone, StarCraft II, Pro Evolution Soccer, and even some mobile games, Clash Royale and Arena of Valor.

Due to a partnership between the Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports (the sports division of Alibaba), esports events will now be a part of the 2018 and 2022 Asian Games.

Reports confirm that Alibaba is also in a long-term partnership with the International Olympic Committee, and is pushing hard for esports to be included in the standard Olympic events.

It appears that Alibaba's efforts have not gone unnoticed, but the committee thus far will only consider games that "are not gory".

Still, this is huge news indeed for the esports and gaming communities. Are you excited for gaming to become an Olympic sport?